Raven sat perched atop the church spire.
She watched the lights of the nightlife reflect and refract in the drenching rain. Water did things like that. And clouds.... And fog.... And heat.... Changing light's appearance. Nothing like that happened to darkness. Dark was dark. Yet light suffered change. Obstructions. If light was so good, why was it constantly changed? Shades on lamps. Coloring neon. Dimmer switches. But darkness? All you could do was flick a lighter, and it's gone. You cannot change its form. People try to light the dark, but only so much. Just enough so dark isn't dark, but wasn't truly light either.
Idiots, all of them.
Light is good.
Raven raised her eyes to the darkened skies. No stars or moon. Just dark. And rain. Raven let the rain wash her face.
To be in the light once more....
To wash the dark away....
She let a tear mingle with the rain.
Positive energy....Positive energy....
"You seem to like that phrase."
Raven watched him walk the edge of the spire like a circus freak. He landed beside her with a splash. Raven dried her face with a soaked sleeve. 'Bout time he made it.
He frowned slightly as he let the rain collect in his cupped hands.
"Not much for rain?" he asked as he doused her face.
Raven glared as the water dripped off her nose and chin.
"I'm here," she muttered, "at your invitation."
He stood once more before hoisting Raven up by the shoulders.
"Right, right. Sorry!" He twirled around once before taking her by the hand. "Little distracted. Rain is magic, you know? now, come along."
With only a whoop as a warning, Raven found herself plummeting off the church spire with Barabbas at her side.
He would do this.
Barabbas continued whooping and hollering as they continued to fall, fall, fall down to the sidewalk below. He was pure chaos while she was corrupt chaos. At times she wondered how he could be seen as "better" than her just because he was part of a better trinity. Well, no matter what he was, they both would be roadkill if their descent wasn't slowed down soon.
Positive energy....Positive energy!
Raven focused her powers to slowly stall her plummeting. Her powers were still a little sporadic because she was still a rather newly formed corrupt chaos being. Chaos is not easy to use. Takes years to understand and even then can be dangerous. Thus why chaos is to be paired with logic and coupled with a vessel...blah...blah...blah!
Raven gritted her teeth in concentration. She wasn't slowing down fast enough!
She would never be able to tell what was worse: landing face first into the wet sidewalk or looking up to see Barabbas silhouetted by neon lights smiling down at her perfectly fine.
"I'll give you 10 points for a creative landing," he grinned. He offered a hand to help her up. Raven just glared as she batted his hand away. She was perfectly capable of getting up herself. Besides, his fault she ended up like that.
Raven pulled back the drenched wisps of hair from her face as she glared up at her "companion".
"Shall we get on with this?" she growled. They were barely 5 minutes into their "meeting", and she was ready to tear him apart! She wished he would just leave her alone already! He had his trinity. Just let her be in hers. Holies and unholies weren't meant to mingle. Especially two different people's.
Barabbas beamed, nodding. However, that annoying happy grin of his faded as concern flooded his eyes. Raven stiffened as Barrabbas' hand was suddenly sweeping her face. She didn't like how that felt. The contrasts of her ice and his warmth.
"What the heck are you doing?" she hissed as she smacked his hand away.
"Raven, you're shivering," he simply replied.
Raven hadn't noticed. Now she realized just how cold she was from the rain. What she thought was shaking from rage was actually tremors from being stuck out in the rain too long waiting for him.
"It's a wet, cold night in the middle of November. Of course I'm shivering, idiot! Was waiting for you to show up!"
Barabbas had her wrapped up in his jacket faster than she could blink. She tensed up all the more. She had been violated not once but twice! This guy just loved to irk her to death.
"Get this off me," she ordered, her eyes tearing into his.
He put an arm around her shoulder, completely ignoring her request. "I know a great little place where we can get you warmed up," he smiled down at her. "Happens to be a short walk from here."
"I don't need to be 'warmed up' by you," she glowered. Last thing she wanted was to spend any more time with him than needed.
"I promise it won't take you any longer than the time it takes you to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. My treat."
With that, he lead her down the street, singing some song about magic, and rain, and chance meetings, and love, and other pure chaotic things. This was where she never wanted to be. She was trapped in his embrace, in his coat that reeked of him, and having to endure him singing. She wished she could just break away and tear him apart for once. She remembered last time she tried. Her powers were nothing but ashes and soot to him. Ashes and soot... She closed her eyes tight. That was past. No need thinking on things like that anymore. Now she had to think of how to speed up this meeting. She hoped it would take less than ten seconds to down a cup of hot cocoa.
They went to one of those cozy corner diners/coffee shops where they claim to have the best pie or coffee or water in town. A small stage was blocked off in one corner of the main room. A microphone stand sits empty as did many of the booths. Barabbas shepherded Raven to a booth near the center of the far wall. A place with a good view of the rain and people running through the pools of neons. He unwraps his coat from her shoulders. She rolled the kinks out of her shoulders. It would take forever to wash his scent from her person, but at least that jacket was gone. Before she sat down, he pulled the dripping cloak off her person. Raven reached out to cover her face with a hood that no longer existed.
“You’ll get dry faster if you take this off,” Barabbas explains as he takes the drenched articles to the coat rack by the stage. “Just sit down and warm up. I’ll get the hot chocolate.”
Raven growled as he walked off. She let her dark hair fall into her face to obscure her features. She didn’t like people seeing her face. That’s why she wore the cloak. That man just loved to find new ways to show how powerless she was in his presence. He was right. The warmth of the room was able to reach her better with that cloak off. Raven watched that boy from the safety of her hair. How could he smile like that? What made him so different? A world so dark and full of corrupt things. Must be cause he was a boy. Guys had all the luck. They had the strength. They had the cunning. They knew how to lay a trap and not be caught in it. They ruled the world. They had it all. A woman was made to be in a man’s shadow while he had fun in the sun. Man had no predators. Woman was his prey.
He flashed his dazzling smile as he placed his order at the counter. The lady returned it. His smile was very contagious. She had noticed that. Wherever that smile beamed, smiles beamed back. He looked back at her sitting in the booth. He gave a friendly wave paired with that smile. Raven quickly looked away. She wasn’t going to let that smile infect her. It was a different smile from other guys. There was nothing hiding in it. What you saw was what you got. Everything and everyone gravitated towards that smile. Everything except her.
She watched the rain mix with the colored lights. Some of the lights splashed into the cozy corner, the colors mixing in with the tabletop. Even though the lights did their best, there were still too many shadows. Raven could sense all the dark evil that each shadow could hide. Darkness that resonated with herself. She hated it. Dark. Evil. Black. Night. Everything that was associated with evil and corruption was what she was.
“Hope you didn’t miss me too much,” Barabbas’ voice bring Raven back to reality. He slides a blue mug of hot chocolate and a plate adorned with a large slice of coconut cake across the table towards her. She raised an eyebrow at him.
“I thought this was just a hot chocolate trip,” she muttered.
“Well, you can’t have a warm drink without a snack to go with it,” Barabbas explains as he spins the plate holding his slice of lemonade pie. “Besides, I think that cake was made just for you.” He gives her a mischievous look. “I know you have a thing for coconut.”
Raven watched as he took a large bite of his pie. He knew too much. Why was she even here again? Right. He had said he wanted to talk to her about something “important”. Stupid her decided to see what this talk was to be about. Now, she was trapped in this diner. Without her cloak. Self exposed. With him. She looked down at her black turtleneck, trying to look like the wolves adorning her shirt were more exciting than the cake. Barabbas rambled about how this place made lemonade pie like his mamma used to, but this other dessert was better. However, they were out of that so he had to go with second best. However, he realized that he was more for lemonade pie anyway so it all worked out for the best. Structure in chaos. Raven was half-listening. After a few minutes, she took her first swig of hot chocolate. The rich liquid scalded her tongue. She tried not to show pain as she blew to cool her drink. This stuff always did burn her. Barabbas kept on rambling about the desserts this place had to offer. Then he turned to the different types of artists that had performed there at the past week. Mostly local poets and potential singers. He even brought up something about a juggler who performed a few years back and how a fire baton accident gone wrong required some remodeling.
Raven looked up. She saw a fork loaded with the coconut concoction waiting to be enjoyed.
“Were you a plane or train type?” Barabbas’ asks.
“Wha-?” Raven didn’t get to finish her question before he shoved the whole thing into her mouth. The cake was heavenly, making her want to finish the whole thing.
“Here comes the train,” Barabbas smiles seeing pleasure register in her eyes ever so faintly.
Raven pulled the fork from her mouth, but she knew it was too late. Her whole being craved for her to finish off that cake and ask for seconds. She glared at the cake, wishing it wasn’t so delicious. Her eyes looked up to meet with his. He knew this would happen. She wanted to mush that cake all over his face.
“You know you can enjoy that cake better if you eat it,” he smiled. That smile…
Raven looked away. She wouldn’t fall for that smile, but she did take another large bite of that cake followed by a swig of hot chocolate.
She could feel his smile radiating even though she wasn’t looking at him.
She continued to partake of the dessert as he continued on and on about this and that or the other that was in no relation related to this or that. She half listened, thinking of the best ways to escape this madness before she began smiling like those cats from “Alice in something-land”, begging to be fed cake and other sweets. She would not win out to him! Yet, there was something inside her that wanted to reach out. Yes, Holies and Unholies were not meant to interact-or so was her rule-, but it had been so long since someone just wanted to…talk….to her. Sure others had “talked”. At her-orders, commands, etc. Over her-sure she was there, but what did she have to say anyway? Dirty little b----. About her-those weren’t so nice “talks”. No one really wanted to talk “to” her. Just say things. Let her saying something in reply. Let them say something else. Maybe, just for tonight….
She shook her head. No! she couldn’t. She shouldn’t! She wouldn’t! She didn’t even want to be here. With him. Or anyone! Why did she accept that invite anyway?
“You could try it, ya know?”
She looked up at him. He bent down. Elbows on table. Head in hands. Eyes on her.
“Talking. It’s not that hard. Even Unholies talk. Trust me. I know.”
She looked away. May not be hard for you.
“Alright. Let’s take it slow.”
He sprung up. Now he was sitting on the top of the booth seat. Seems he cleaned his plate a long time ago. She still had half her cake left.
“One word. Can you do that? Just one word.”
He tipped his mug, draining the last of the contents into his gaping, goofy smiling mouth before calling the waitress over for refills.
“You don’t’ have to be so afraid of me. I’m not gonna hurt you.”
She felt her eyes go wide.
“This is just a friendly fling. Just sitting here. Talking. Enjoying some of the finer things in life. I’m not here to ‘put you in your place’ or anything like that. Just felt like you needed to get out of those shadows. I think you wanted that too. You wouldn’t have agreed to come otherwise.”
She bit the inside of her lip.
“You’re not as dark as you think you are. I know this isn’t going to be a ‘life-changing’ experience. Change is slow. You want out of the dark. I want to let in the light.”
The waitress came by with refills. On everything.
“Let’s take this slow,” he said again once the waitress left. “One word at a time.”
Raven watched him. One word, huh? That easy? She took another bite of her cake. She did have a second one waiting on her. He went on about how good the pizza was here on Tuesdays because that was when Bill was cooking. Something about a secret sauce.
One word. Could just for tonight…just one word? This is what she wanted. She knew he was right. Couldn’t she just accept it? She felt herself writhe in rejection of the notion. No! she couldn’t just let that happen! She wouldn’t let him get into her defenses!
“Train.” The word was so soft that she was surprised when Barabbas stopped mid-sentence about what it would be like to go backpacking in Rome. He had a question in his eye. Raven rolled hers.
“I was a ‘train’ type. Airplane if the stuff wasn’t as good. Like peas.”
Her soul leapt and shuddered from those words.
She tried not to look at him. Not to see that smile beam even brighter. She failed. Was hard not to miss that supernova on his face right now. He did have a nice smile. For a Holy.
“You look the type,” he finally said.
For extra measure, she tried a smile. She knew it wasn’t big. Barely a half smile. He caught it though. His smile reached the darkest corners of her soul. The rejection of light screamed as it disappeared. For now. He reached over to ruffle her hair, making the bangs fly away from her face. She moved them back into place. Needed something to protect her eyes from all that radiance. He laughed.
“Okay then. So, didn’t like peas, huh? What about mashed cumquat? Ever try that?”
Just for tonight, she told herself. Just for tonight, I’ll let in his light.